The smell of sky-blue candyfloss, salty popcorn, crispy sausages and strong coffee wafted over the inner courtyard of the HFT Stuttgart. Many people enjoyed the sunshine, conversations and laughter in all corners. Happy people everywhere, an exuberant mood. Kathrin Mletzko, content manager at HFT Stuttgart, member of the university communication team and student marketing, let her gaze roam over the inner courtyard. She conceived and organised the festival.
She is very pleased with the result. "The idea behind HFT-Allee was to bring the new profile-giving additions of the university "climate-competent - resilient - networked" closer to the students and employees in a casual context. The university offers a wide range of courses in these areas, which could now be presented in an informal atmosphere. It is impressive how great everyone's willingness was to participate in this celebration. They all made HFT-Allee a great event."
As a colleague and sitting in the same office, I witnessed everything from the very beginning. From the first "I-have-an-idea" to the naming ("HFT-Allee sounds great, doesn't it?"), from agreements to the increasingly concrete planning; ideas were discarded, others tightened and everything was packed into an overall concept. And again and again we looked at the sky and the weather app. But Stuttgart showed itself from its best side on May 25, 2023: 20 degrees, sun, no rain. Dream weather, then, for a stroll along the HFT avenue to visit the stands and find out about what's on offer.
HFT goes green
Here, the team behind the university's green projects introduced themselves. Especially the DIY planting action was a big hit. Lots of basil plants were waiting to be divided and planted in sustainable containers, such as empty Spezi or San Miguel cans, which were specially prepared by Jonas Stave using a can opener. The basil sold like hotcakes (while the neighboring stand ran out, but more on that later). Ute Dettmann, the university's environmental officer, had a drill ready so that holes could be drilled in the cans to protect the tender plants from waterlogging. Her summary of the event: "My expectations were exceeded, also in terms of the turnout. I'm totally thrilled that an event like this is taking place at the university." Jonas Stave adds, "It's nice to be able to present our "HFT goes green" project to a wider audience in such a setting. People came by our booth who didn't know anything about our project until now. We were able to show and explain a lot to them."
What does your climate-competent, resilient and networked university of tomorrow look like? At the interactive booth of the rectorate, everyone could write their ideas and visions on a whiteboard. Questions about the ongoing strategy process were answered by Rector Prof. Dr. Katja Rade and Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Lutz Gaspers. For the first time, a preview of an explanatory video on the three profile-generating additions, which has not yet been published, was shown.
Association Friends of the HFT Stuttgart e.V.
The people behind the Egle dormitory and many sponsoring activities within the university lured with blue cotton candy and a wheel of fortune. No one went away empty-handed: A water bottle was the grand prize in the "climate-competent, resilient, networked" field, and salad plants were given to those who landed in the fields labeled "Verein Freunde." All the others were delighted with ahoy sherbet sweets. Of course, it was also about attracting new members to the association. Kaan Cuma Borazanci did all the convincing. For him, membership in the Friends Association offers the best opportunity to connect, to form communities, to create shared memories and to support each other. He thinks the festival is cool: "It's super well put together, there's mega good vibes. I feel only positive energy and everyone is absolutely happy to be there."
The team from MoVe and iCity presented climate-competent mobility projects. Here, participants of the STADTRADEL campaign could pick up a goodie bag. Leo Casey was satisfied: "There is a very nice atmosphere, the interest in our topics and in climate-competent mobility is great."
The experts from PlanG demonstrated at their stand how to give reasons the right way. They had Lego Serious Play with them and presented a method with which the team works in consulting. The students were allowed to build their dream start-ups with Lego elements. But that wasn't all: Those who wanted a bag of salty popcorn had to scan a QR code. This led to PlanG's Instagram account. Those who pressed the follow button received a bag of popcorn in return. It's a deal Christine Kraus is very happy with. "We've already whipped out more than 50 popcorn bags now, and it's only early noon. I think the festival is totally beautiful, the weather is playing along mega. HFT-Allee is a colorful affair, the mood is good, and we have lots of nice conversations with great people."
Resilience and Mindfulness - ReMind
This project, led by Prof. Dr. Katrin Allmendinger and Anke Pfeiffer, is about promoting the mental health of students with course offerings. At the HFT-Allee, this project was represented by Clara Ehrmann, research assistant at ReMind and student in the Master's program in Business Psychology. The event is very much in her spirit: "I like the fact that you can stroll through in such a relaxed atmosphere and take away ideas and impulses wherever you go. It's nice when students stop here at the ReMind booth and take a moment for themselves, do our Mindfulness Challenge, and you get to talk to each other. That's how I'm able to share with people, relate to them, and give them good thoughts and words to take with them for the day."
Block 4 e.V.
Barbecued sausages and chill beats - the Block 4 e.V. team is not easily thrown off track. With almost stoic composure, Niko Jochim, AStA chairman, grills sausages even when rolls run out and someone has to quickly jump into town to get new ones. His conclusion: "We were surprised by the great demand. It was hard to estimate how many people would come to this warm-up event before Stallfest. But hey: now many are there, and that's great. Cool atmosphere, great weather ... and 1,600 tickets for Stallfest went on sale. Awesome!"
Cre8 used the great scenery of the HFTMobil to provide visitors with delicious coffee specialties. Special: Alumni and students in their last semester received an HFT mug for free! The rush was great. The atmosphere of the HFT-Allee was also noticeable inside the HFTMobile. Verena Glück, a student in the Master's program in Environmental Logistics, was active in the Cre8 team during the second half of the day. Verena thought "the booths were mega cool." However, she was especially pleased to see "that the word "networked," which is sprayed everywhere on the ground in the courtyard, is meant seriously and is lived."
HFT wheel workshop
There were long lines in front of the HFT bike workshop booth. Students and employees with problems on their bikes made their ecologically valuable means of transport fit again under guidance and with suitable tools! They were guided and supported by Amando Reber, Jonas Stave and their team. They were also more than satisfied with the response to their offer. "HFT-Allee is a good chance to get publicity for our bike workshop. Our offer is well received. A response that my team and I are very happy about," Amando Reber sums up the day.
At the end of the day, the whiteboard that collected ideas and wishes for a climate-competent, resilient, and connected university included the wish: "More events like this J."